Game: Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Odds: Celtics +2.5, Sixers -2.5
Boston faces its last road test of the NBA regular season tonight when the Celtics travel to Philadelphia to take on the Sixers. Despite winning two straight games, Boston (54-24) is still two games behind Milwaukee for the league’s top spot. The Celtics would sweep Philadelphia (51-27) in all four of their head-to-head contests this season if they were to extend their winning streak on Tuesday.
The Celtics defeated Utah 122-114 on Friday, one day after beating Milwaukee 140-99. Boston’s flight to Utah was delayed and the team didn’t touch down until just six hours before game time with the Jazz.
Boston’s Jayson Tatum said the Celtics looked at it as a challenge. After scoring 40 points against the Bucks, Tatum finished with 39 points and 11 rebounds against Utah. On his way to leading the Celtics in scoring for the third straight game, he had five of his team’s 17 three-pointers. Blake Griffin, who started in place of Al Horford, brought new life to the lineup by leading the team with 12 rebounds and contributing six points and five assists.
Jaylen Brown, who averages 26.7 points and 6.8 rebounds, was listed as questionable for the game by the Celtics on Monday afternoon due to low-back pain. Robert Williams is sidelined for treatment of a left knee injury. Horford is listed as probable after missing the game against Utah.
The Philadelphia 76ers have had a mixed recent record, dropping three straight before winning back-to-back contests before losing 117-104 to Milwaukee on Sunday. Tyrese Maxey scored 29 points to lead Philadelphia while Joel Embiid had 28. Milwaukee had just suffered its worst loss of the season at the hands of the Celtics, and Sixers coach Doc Rivers was unhappy with his team’s performance in what could be considered a measuring stick game.
Milwaukee took an early lead, dominating the first half and was up by as many as 20 points. Philadelphia did manage to close the gap to four points in the third quarter, but that was the closest the score would get. With four regular-season games left to play, the Sixers realize they need to be prepared come playoff time.
The Celtics defeated the Sixers on the road 110-107 on February 25 when Brown hit the game-winning three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left in the game. Boston won the first two head-to-head matchups with Philly by nine and seven points, respectively. In that game on Feb. 25, Tatum finished with 18 points, a team-high 13 rebounds, and six assists.
Boston is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in its last six games. In their last five against Philadelphia, the Celtics are 4-1 SU and ATS. Philly is 11-5 SU in its last 16 games and 4-1 SU in its last five at home. The Sixers are 8-4 ATS in their last 12 games and 9-2 SU in their last 11 against an Eastern Conference opponent.
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